Winery report by Tasting Team member “Dr. J.”
I was sitting in the airport in Portland reading the blog while I waited for my plane to arrive. In an article about the Pioneer Wine trail, I noticed a new winery that has shown up: Flying Otter. It turns out that they have been open since last fall. My wife and I just so happened to have a birthday party to go to in Adrian, so what a perfect opportunity!
Have your map or GPS ready because this is not the most easy to find. It is well worth the trip though. The tasting list consists of 7 red and white wines made mostly from hybrid grapes, ranging from dry to sweet. First on the list was the Noiret. Noiret is a hybrid grape developed by Cornell University. I have only had this once, so I needed a reminder on the great wine that this grape can make. It is peppery with hints of berry and a good amount of oak. It will go well with red meats.
Chancellor was up next. This is becoming more and more popular to those who are starting to realize the quality of wine a hybrid grape can produce. This one is done very nicely and is fruity on the nose and palette. This will go well with red meats and especially pastas.
The Northern Lights is a blend of Chardonel and Traminette grapes. I love this crisp, semi-dry white. These are both hybrids that produce excellent wines. Chardonel was bred from Chardonnay and to me; it produces the closest wine to the real thing.
The Vignoles is a lighter wine with tropical flavors and floral aromas. This is great for the patio or picnic.
Continuing on down the list, we got to the Riesling. This one is made in the German style and is semi-sweet. I would consider this a nice sipping wine also. It has big, bold varietal flavor and a nice citrus finish.
The “Cherry Pie” was a nice transition to the sweeter wines left on the list. This is a blend of grape and cherry. I thought it was a little light on cherry flavor but the acidity more than made up for it. It is not too sweet and is a very drinkable wine.
Finally was the Starboard; a dessert wine made from Frontenac grapes and fortified with grape spirits. This is a great wine for those who want a dessert wine that is not overly sweet. It is just the right consistency and tastes wonderful with chocolate!
Flying Otter is a great addition to the local winery scene. I look forward to future releases.